FCC: Obama brings dems up to speed


As expected, Mignon Clyburn is set to get the nod from Barack Obama to fill the third Democratic office on the FCC’s 8th Floor. She comes from the South Carolina Public Service Commission and is the daughter of Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC), a major figure in the civil rights movement. Obama has one more Republican slot to fill, which should happen as soon as Senate Republicans indicate who they’d like nominated.

Clyburn’s involvement on SCPSC brought her in touch with the telecommunications industry and prior to that was an exec with Charleston SC weekly The Coastal Times.

If confirmed, she’ll replace Jonathan Adelstein and join Michael Copps. She’ll also be joining the new pending Chair, Julius Genechowski, also if confirmed. Robert McDowell is holding the fort single-handedly for the Republicans.

Among the names being bandied about for the final Republican seat, according to the Wall Street Journal, are Ajit Pai, who has both Hill and FCC credentials, and longtime John McCain (R-AZ) staffer Lee Carosi Dunn.

NAB President and CEO David K. Rehr was quick to hail her nomination (assuming she gets through the Senate confirmation process), saying, “NAB salutes President Obama for his nomination of Mignon Clyburn to the FCC. Ms. Clyburn’s experience as a Public Service Commission member in South Carolina and as a former newspaper publisher will serve her well as she addresses media-related issues at the FCC. NAB looks forward to working with her, and we urge swift Senate confirmation.”

Acting FCC Chair Michael Copps said, “I congratulate Mignon Clyburn on the welcome news that President Obama intends to nominate her as FCC Commissioner.  She is an excellent choice, and the experience she brings from her service on South Carolina’s Public Service Commission will be an invaluable asset as we address the many challenges and opportunities that are before us.  I wish her a successful Senate confirmation and look forward to working with her over the coming months and years in serving consumers and the public interest.”

Lone Republican Robert McDowell also sent out a greeting, saying, “I congratulate Commissioner Clyburn on the announcement that President Obama intends to nominate her to serve as a Commissioner on the FCC.  Her experience on the Public Service Commission of South Carolina as well as her involvement in many professional and civic organizations gives her a strong background to tackle the many issues facing the Commission.  I look forward to working with my colleagues as we grow towards a full Commission and I wish Commissioner Clyburn well in the confirmation process.”

RBR/TVBR observation: On the diversity scoreboard, Clyburn represents two for the price of one, and brings a civil rights pedigree to the Commission just as it is hunkering down to delve more deeply into matters of media ownership diversity. It will be interesting to see her approach to the issues before the Commission.